Monday, January 26, 2015

what is in a name?

The summer before Natalie was born, I remember sitting at my parent's house in Florida trying to decide what adorable names my parents would be called.  We knew even before we had gotten pregnant what Brandon's parents wanted to be called.  Lori had it figured out the minute she knew she was done having babies - she would be Nanny.  Brandon's maternal grandmother was Nan, so Nanny felt right for Lori.  And she is, without a doubt, a Nanny.  Gary took a little more time, but it was an obvious choice to all of us - Farge.  It doesn't make sense to anyone else, but to us, it does and that makes it just that little bit more special :) With my parents, the names didn't come so easily.  

At that time, Natalie would be the first grandchild in whose life my parents were allowed an immediate presence so I wanted their grandparent names to be special.  They had made plans to come up for Thanksgiving, two weeks after my due date, to celebrate the holiday and meet the little miss.  I remember sitting on their back patio going through a list of Irish names for grandparents because my mom embraces all that is our Irish roots.  I remember Michelle and I agreeing that my father was definitely not the Grandpa type. We spent quite a bit of time that week in July trying to figure out what would be perfect.  We finally decided on Bibsy for my mom.  It was a nickname she had been given by our Godmother. My dad would be Ducky. His older brother, Richard, had called him that before Richard was killed in a car accident. It was a nice way to honor my uncle and celebrate my dad's playful side. 

It was perfect.  Brandon and I laughed about Grandparent's day at school.  Natalie would have a Nanny, Farge, Bibsy and Duckie.  So unusual but so perfect.  Everything was sorted out until Jessica dropped Tim off at Michelle's house with no plans to pick him up.  Jessica had given our parents their own grandparent names - Pop Pop and Grandma.  It makes my mom cringe to be called Grandma, so I must say that I do enjoy it a little bit :)  But those were not the names that we had decided on. So now that Natalie is really learning to talk, we are at an impasse. How do we handle this grandparent name issue? 

I hate the idea of having my parents called two different things by their grandchildren.  The idea of holidays and birthdays and vacations with Natalie calling my dad Ducky and Tim calling him Pop-pop is so frustrating.  Cousins should be calling their grandparents by the same thing.  When my parents were up in November for the tiny humans' birthdays, Tim made a point to correct me when I called my mom Bibsy.  He said "no Tori, that's Grandma".  Thanks, bud.  So what do we do?

Do I just concede and let Jessica's names win?  Pop-pop and Grandma it is.  Do I try to change what Tim calls his grandparents? I might have a better chance of bringing home Olympic gold in men's figure skating.  Yes, I said men's.  It is a tough question and one I, unfortunately, do not have the answer to.  Can I call a Mulligan on this? Is that allowed?  

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